Politicians unite to back public protest over housing at historic Antonine Wall site in Bearsden

Determined residents ?objecting to the ‘over-?development’ of Bearsden and Milngavie were out in force?on Saturday.

They were joined in their “Bearsdone and Milngone – Unless we Fight” campaign by East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson and local MSPs Ross Greer and Gil Paterson.

The newly-founded community campaign group is objecting to a planning application by Robertson Homes to build 65 homes at Thorn Road, as well as protesting against the increasing number of new housing developments in the area.

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The Robertson Homes’ site is in the vicinity of the historic Antonine Wall.

According to the group, East Dunbartonshire Council has received 167 objections to the proposed Thorn Road development within the space of a few weeks. Alan Brown who lives near to the proposed site is one of the campaigners and said: “The Robertson Homes/Bearsden Golf Club expansion plan bisects the UNESCO boundary zone and is also well within 30 metres of the Castle Hill tree circle.

“This protection applies, absolutely, and without exception. It begs the question why East Dunbartonshire Council are even allowing this to go ahead.”

Mr Paterson MSP added: “The hugely important Antonine Wall is a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is our duty to protect it for our generation, and future generations.

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“Who knows what opportunities may arise from our rich heritage in the future?

“I recognise the need to address the housing shortage we presently face but our green spaces are precious and greenbelt land must be protected wherever possible.

“Enough planning applications have been passed for East Dunbartonshire to meet their house building target so there is no need to build on this sensitive and historically important site.

“I commend the members of the community who have worked hard to raise awareness of this issue.”

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The campaign group also say the continuing rise in new housing developments will add to already gridlocked roads and pollution as well as over-subscribed schools.

Local academic Professor Michael Hitchman was also at the protest outside Bearsden Hub. He has raised concerns in particular over air quality at areas such as Bearsden Cross.

Thomas Glen, Depute Chief Executive - Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets, said: “A planning application for 65 homes has been received from Robertson Homes.

“As with any planning application, the council is required to assess the application against its planning policy. It will be considered at a forthcoming meeting of the Planning Board.”